For one coffee drinker, a routine trip to Starbucks turned into a horrific experience that almost cost him his life. One barista at the store who was quick to use his CPR skills to save the life of a customer in the most heroic way possible. If you thought that Starbucks baristas were only good for making expensive frappuccinos then you’re about to be shocked.

Just an Ordinary Work Day

20-year-old Kurt Vaughn is a college student in California who had been working as a part-time barista at Starbucks store in Palm Springs for several months.

On the morning of August 14, the store was packed as usual with busy commuters looking for an early morning caffeine fix. It had only been fifteen minutes since Vaughn started his shift when, suddenly, something out of the ordinary happened.

A Customer Collapses in the Store

Things were running smoothly behind the counter for the first few minutes as baristas quickly prepared coffees for a long queue of customers waiting for their beverages. A groggy Kurt Vaughn was among the staff, taking orders and passing them along to his colleagues when suddenly, there were gasps and screams coming from crowd; apparently someone had fainted in the middle of the store.

A few customers rushed to the front and asked the staff if anybody knew how to perform CPR. The employees looked around with a sense of urgency trying to find someone who could help in the time of emergency. Finally, a barista approached Kurt Vaughn asking if he knew CPR. Luckily, Vaughn had received Boy Scout training when he was younger and knew a great deal about performing CPR from reading information on different websites.

Kurt Vaughn, 20

Training from Boy Scout Days Comes in Handy

When Vaughn walked into Starbucks that day, he had no idea that the training he had received years ago was about to save a customer’s life. After hearing that someone had collapsed in the store and urgently needed CPR, Vaughn rushed forward to help.

The customer in crisis was 66-year-old Mike Furtado, a resident of Northern California who had gone into cardiac arrest while enjoying his morning coffee. Furtado had only arrived in Palm Springs a few days ago to enjoy a vacation, but his week-long trip turned into a nightmare when he was forced to spend his entire time on the hospital bed at Desert Regional Medical Center.

A Case of Cardiac Arrest

American Red Cross are constantly providing CPR courses and emergency training worldwide to help save lives

When Vaughn approached Furtado, who was lying on the floor unconscious and extremely pale, he realized that the 66-year-old was not breathing. Later, the young barista recalled that he had been extremely nervous while performing the CPR, scared that he may not be able to save the person in his arms.

Furtado had a faint pulse giving a sign that he was still alive. Other employees and customers assisted Vaughn as he performed chest compressions for almost 2 minutes. While one of the customers held up the unconscious man’s legs to maintain blood flow, another called 911 to send an ambulance.

The paramedics soon arrived on the scene and rushed Furtado to the hospital. Upon gaining consciousness, Furtado found out about how Kurt Vaughn had saved his life in time of crisis. The 66-year-old was extremely grateful for the young man’s efforts, saying that Vaughn will forever be his hero. Furtado has now been discharged from hospital and seems to be doing well.

American Red Cross and other medical agencies are providing CPR courses and emergency training worldwide to help save lives. If you’re interested in learning how to perform CPR, visit their website to enroll in one of their short courses or watch a short video by American Heart Association.

Would you Know How to Act in Such an Emergency?



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